Sunday, January 26, 2014

Frost/Nixon (2008) [R] ****+

In 1976 David Frost, a popular British talk-show host, conceived the idea of interviewing former President Richard Nixon. The videotaped interviews, which were later televised to wild acclaim, took place in 1977 in San Clemente, California, where Nixon lived virtually in exile following his 1974 impeachment, resignation and full pardon by President Gerald Ford.

Originally conceived by Frost as little more than entertainment, the interviews were ultimately appreciated as an opportunity to give Nixon the public trial that his presidential pardon had allowed him to avoid. The film features Peter Morgan's brilliant screenplay based on his own stage play, Ron Howard's sensitive, insightful direction, an Oscar-worthy performance by Frank Langella as Nixon, excellent performances by Michael Sheen as Frost, by Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Oliver Platt as Frost's advisors, and by Kevin Bacon as Nixon's advisor.

If you remember the late 1960s – the Vietnam War and the war protests – and the presidential election campaign of 1972 including the burglary at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate hotel/office complex, then this reenactment of the Frost/Nixon television interviews will bring history alive for you once again. And watching Frank Langella's compelling performance as Richard Milhous Nixon is guaranteed to evoke the same emotional response in you that watching Nixon himself on television evoked during those turbulent years so long ago. 

Labels: drama, history, politics     
Internet Movie Database     
Metacritic 80/100     
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=79, viewers=76)     

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